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Help keep Alberta roads safe this winter

Drivers are asked to help keep Alberta roads safe this winter by driving to conditions and giving snowplows room to work.

Help keep Alberta roads safe this winter

Unpredictable weather is a hallmark of Alberta. It can change rapidly and drastically, creating hazards on Alberta roadways. The Alberta government works with highway maintenance contractors throughout the winter months plowing thousands of kilometres of roads across the province.

“Alberta Transportation works closely with highway maintenance contractors to keep Alberta highways clear and open to travel. They are out there, in force, in challenging conditions, working to ensure the roads are safe for the travelling public and for their own families, friends and neighbours. We can all play a role in keeping our roads safe by slowing down and driving to conditions.”

Brian Mason, Minister of Transportation

“Our first priority during the winter months is safety, for both the public and our plow operators. Drivers need to exercise caution when approaching a snowplow and should not try to pass. Our operators will pull over to allow vehicles to pass when it is safe to do so. We are out in full force to clear the roads as soon as possible, sometimes in less than ideal conditions, and we appreciate the public’s assistance.”

Ron Glen, CEO, Alberta Roadbuilders and Heavy Construction Association

Albertans can find the location of snowplows in real time and get the latest road conditions by downloading the 511 app at http://511.alberta.ca/.

Quick facts

  • Each year, Alberta’s contractors strategically deploy approximately 600 snowplows to clear 31,000 kilometres of provincial highways.
  • During winter storms, priority is given to clearing major highway corridors with high volumes of traffic, critical commuter routes and emergency services routes.   
  • Snowplows drive between 30 and 50 km/h when blading snow and applying salt and sand to roadways. Drivers are advised to use extra caution when travelling near snowplow equipment by leaving extra space and only passing when it’s safe to do so. Plow operators pull over frequently to allow queued traffic to pass.
  • Highway maintenance contractors and Alberta 511 monitor road conditions 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
  • The number of collisions spike in the winter months, with significantly higher (20 per cent or more) numbers in November, December and January. 

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